The space race has already caused tension in the past, particularly during the Cold War when the United States and the Soviet Union went head-to-head to become the first to get to the Moon. And one scientist believes that humanity’s reckless nature could prove disastrous as we delve deeper into the cosmos. Astrobiologist Monica Vidaurri, who also acts as a policy and ethics specialist consulting for NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, has argued there are not enough regulations surrounding space exploration, which could prove to be bad news in the future.
Ms Vidaurri said space exploration is a relatively new concept, and if the past few months are anything to go by then it could be disastrous without a legal framework put in place.
The astrobiologist highlighted Israel’s recent Beresheet Moon lander which crash landed into the lunar surface, spilling microscopic organisms.
Another example was India destroying one of its satellites on March 27, which produced tons of space debris.
There was also SpaceX’s launch of thousands of tiny satellites which caused concern in the astronomy community, who said it would block the view of the night sky.
On all occasions, the relevant parties involved did not face any consequences.
Ms Vidaurri warned if humanity continues on this trajectory, it could ruin what space has to offer.
She wrote for Quartz: “Colonisation and exploitation define our major institutions, and are engrained in western society. They persists in science.
“And unless we make changes, they will persist in outer space as well.
“For the first time in history perhaps, we have the opportunity to begin to undo our ugly past and ensure space is accessible for everyone.
“If we want to create a truly sustainable and responsible space environment, we must ensure that our efforts are transparent, ethical, and inclusive, and that we fully understand our historical tendencies as wealthy nations with an affinity for capitalism.
“Refusing to make changes today will only guarantee that we continue to facilitate the ills of humanity in a field that fully has the potential to bring out the very best in us.”